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Red Cross seeking blood donors as pandemic continues – Learn more and sign up to sponsor a blood drive

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured, Health & Wellness

Published on August 05, 2020 with No Comments

Though this summer may feel different than summers past, one thing remains constant: The need for blood donations to help save lives. The American Red Cross is urging healthy individuals to give blood to restock the shelves for patients battling disease and facing the unexpected.

Donation appointments can be made for the coming days and weeks by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a thank-you for helping ensure a stable blood supply, those who come to give Aug. 1-Sept. 3 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon.* Plus, come to give by Aug. 31 and automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm, redeemable through the 2021 season.

The Red Cross is also looking for blood drive hosts this fall to help ensure a stable blood supply. There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus, and while cases increase across the country, blood drives continue to be canceled at an alarming rate as many businesses, schools and community organizations remain closed.

Because about 80 percent of blood donations are made at blood drives hosted by these groups, the Red Cross urgently needs the help of both blood donors and blood drive hosts to ensure blood products are readily available for patients. Learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Aug. 1-15:

La Porte County 

La Porte

August 5: noon to 5:00 p.m., Sacred Heart Church, 201 Bach St.

August 6: 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., LaPorte Civic Auditoruim, 1001 Ridge St.

August 10: noon to 6:00 p.m., First Church of God, 2020 East Lincolnway

Michigan City

August 7: 1:00 to 7:00 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 121 E. 7th St.

August 13: 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran, 1237 East Coolspring Ave.

Wanatah

August 5: 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Kankakee Valley REMC, 8642 W US Hwy. 30

Lake County

Crown Point

August 6: 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., St. Matthias Church, 101 W Burrell Drive

August 9: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 218 South Court St.

Hobart

August 5: 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Hobart Community Center, 111 E Old Ridge Rd.

Merrillville

August 10: noon to 5:00 p.m., Merrillville Blood Donation Center, 791 East 83rd Ave.

August 15: 8:00 a.m. to noon, Merrillville Blood Donation Center, 791 East 83rd Ave.

Munster

August 11: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., The Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, 9200 Calumet Ave., suite 200

Porter County

Chesterton

8/3/2020: 2:00 to 8:00 p.m., Franciscan Health Fitness Centers Chesterton, 810 Michael Drive

Valparaiso

August 5: 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., First Christian Church, 1507 Glendale Blvd.

August 7: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., St. Teresa of Avila, 1604 East Lincolnway

August 11: 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 505 Bullseye Lake Rd.

August 14: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Valparaiso Public Library, 103 Jefferson St.

August 14: 2:00 to 8:00 p.m., Culver’s, 2101 LaPorte Ave.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

Asking eligible donors: urgent need for convalescent plasma donations 

 

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise worldwide, Versiti, a national leader in blood health innovation, is seeking plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat community members diagnosed with the virus.

According to the New York Times, in recent days nationally nearly 60,000 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed daily. This has led to a high demand for convalescent plasma that could offer hope. In addition to severely affected patients, this treatment is also being used in patients earlier in their illness to limit progression of the effects of the virus.

“As the number of cases of COVID-19 continue to increase, so does the demand for convalescent plasma,” said Versiti Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Abshire. “We saw tremendous initial support from patients who recovered from the infection. We have seen a drop in donations over the past few weeks. Now is a critically important time for those who have recovered from the infection to donate and support COVID patients in need. The donation process is safe and could help save lives.”

Versiti blood centers, among the first in the U.S. to collect COVID-19 convalescent plasma, is working with its partner hospitals to identify recovered patients. Potential donors can call 1-866-702-4673 to donate or visit versiti.org/covid19plasma. Donors must have a documented positive lab test result for COVID-19 and be symptom free for 14 days.

“If you are able to donate plasma, it is very important that you try and do so,” said Grace Biermacher, a convalescent plasma donor and student at the University of Michigan. “We need to do everything we can to stop COVID-19. Donating plasma is really easy and knowing that you could be saving lives by doing so is incredibly humbling.”

The plasma treatment transfers the antibodies that the recovered patient created into critically ill patients currently receiving care. Because of the investigational nature of this treatment, it is difficult to predict how many plasma infusions a COVID-19 patient may require.

The convalescent plasma donations, which take 30-40 minutes, are collected at Versiti donor centers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. The Indiana location is Versiti at 2126 45th Ave., Highland.  For more information or eligible donors to donate, visit versiti.org or call 219-922-1942.

 

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